From the Director

Dear Friends,

What an honor it is to hear from brilliant writers with truths to tell, histories to explore, and characters to unfold. How invigorating to engage in conversation about universal questions. How inspiring to leave the hall, perhaps puzzled or grappling, a bit more enlightened, and a bit more compassionate.

Curating the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures’ Ten Evenings is truly a privilege. I watch excitedly for news of acclaimed writers, across genres, releasing new books. I read feverishly—both books and reviews-and listen to colleagues, publicists, and audience members. I make lists.

I sort lists. I even color-code lists. Eventually, offers are made and accepted (often to great rejoicing among the staff).

The diverse range of authors speaking to us this year boast prestigious awards among them-Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, a coveted Peabody Award, and many list toppers for Best Books of the Year from various publications. They all have important stories to tell.

We open the season with Siddhartha Mukherjee and his deep knowledge of science, medicine, and medical history. Patti Smith will share her powerful odyssey, fluid prose, and love for good black coffee. Colson Whitehead explores the history of slavery, the Antebellum South, and the struggle … Continue reading

Give to the Lectures You Love!

This, our 25th anniversary year for Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, has certainly been an exciting one. With your support and enthusiasm we are filling the halls author after author.

Interest in the Literary Evenings, Monday Night Lectures Series is robust! While Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Anthony Doerr was the first to sell out, we have been experiencing sold out houses for Anita Diamant, Ruth Reichl, Andrew Solomon, Bryan Stevenson, and Daniel James Brown! Ticket sales for the remaining authors are not far behind!

We are also seeing a resurgence of attendance at our Kids & Teen Series with full houses for Lois Lowry, Kate DiCamillo, Jacqueline Woodson, and others. The signing line for Rainbow Rowell was three hours long! Schools are participating in record numbers in our Authors to Schools program where hundreds of schools can partake through video-conferencing technology.

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures is proud to have launched AUTHORS ON TOUR, in collaboration with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, bringing such notable authors as Man Booker Prize-winner Richard Flanagan, debut novelist Celeste Ng, and literary mystery giant Louise Penny. Tickets for the iconic Margaret Atwood sold out in six and a half hours!

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From the Director

Dear Friends,

Stephanie Flom Square Crop 2014This season we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and our presentation of 286 acclaimed authors during the past 24 years. Their range of topics has been wide and their depth of knowledge and insights, fathomless.

We celebrate the prepared words of these authors and also the dialogue that has ensued when questions have been asked by audience members. We celebrate the community conversations that continue into the evening, the following day, or even years later, provoked by the memory of a comment from a Lecture author.

We also celebrate the school and community visits Lecture authors have made throughout the years and the profound impact they have had on students.

We celebrate the visionary staff and board members who founded Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures in 1991. We stand on your shoulders. And we celebrate those of you, in the audience, who have been attending throughout our history, for you have formed the foundation of our literary community.

We celebrate the Drue Heinz Trust for its belief in the importance of presenting high-quality … Continue reading

Consider a Gift to Support Literature in Pittsburgh

donate online buttonWhat range of emotion or intellectual insight have you experienced at a Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures event?

Were you awed by Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s wisdom and humility? Inspired by George Saunders sharing of his creative process? Did you laugh out loud with others at Ann Patchett’s quick wit and dry ironies? Were you horrified by the inhumanities described by Helene Cooper and by Amy Tan? Angered by Michael Moss’ expose of the food industry? Intrigued by Colum McCann’s audacious optimism?

What an amazing experience it is for world-renown best-selling authors, across a variety of genres, to come to Pittsburgh, to our beautiful Carnegie Music Hall and speak to us intimately about their personal journeys, their passions, their fears, and their hopes.

And what a wonderful opportunity it is for young children, our future citizens, to also be inspired by encounters with their favorite authors where we hear them giggle, gasp, or release an “oh wow!” Or watch them grimace or nod in thoughtful contemplation.

We, at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, are proud to present important authors of our time and create community experiences that make us better, more engaged individuals … Continue reading

From the Director

Dear Friends,Stephanie Flom CMH Headshot

Literature is perhaps the most accessible of art forms. Anyone can borrow a book from the library and most can afford an occasional purchase. It is, however, the most solitary of art forms. And whether we read at home alone or on a crowded bus, we form a singular relationship with the words on the page, the characters, the stories.

Yet when solitary readers come together for Literary Evenings, we are transformed into a community. And our experience of literature is heightened by this community. Our nods and grimaces, our laughter and tears, our hmmmm’s and aha’s when hearing authors speaks are mirrored by others throughout the hall (although not always at the same moments). There is a buzz, a recognition, a sharing that is reinforced through the asking and answering of questions, and continues when the lights come up and we can verbalize our thoughts to those around us. The excited banter extends into the foyer, into the book line, and often among strangers into the elevator and to our parked cars.

And whether we agree or … Continue reading

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Names Stephanie Flom as New Executive Director

QuoteBlock200To Follow Executive Director
Jayne Adair, Retiring May 30, 2014

February 21, 2014, Pittsburgh, PA. – Stephanie Flom has been named the next executive director of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Alice Mitinger, president of the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures board, announced today.   Flom will join the organization on May 19, 2014.

Stephanie Flom Photo“Stephanie has a wealth of experience in management, marketing, development and programming – all qualities that are absolutely essential in the role of leading Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, one of the country’s most notable literary arts organizations,” Mitinger said, adding “We are looking forward to working with Stephanie to further our mission of elevating the civic discourse by connecting world-class authors with our community.”

Since 2005, Flom has served as Executive Director of the Cooper-Siegel Community Library where she led its effort to raise $6 million to build a beautiful, state-of-the-art library in Fox Chapel, as well as to establish a branch library on Main Street in Sharpsburg.  Concurrently, she has served as the executive … Continue reading

Subscribe Now to Reserve Your Seat

for the 2014/15 Literary Evenings

Special Book Club Group Promotion With
Jodi Picoult’s New Book, Leaving Time

On behalf of the staff and board of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, we’re delighted to announce the 2014/15 season of Literary Evenings, Monday Night Lecture Series featuring these distinguished writers:

15 Brochure Cover
• James McBride, The Good Lord Bird, September 22, 2014
• Simon Winchester, The Men Who United The States, October 6, 2014
• Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time, October 20, 2014
• Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things, November 3, 2014
• Andrew Roberts, Napoleon, November 17, 2014
• Richard Ford, Let Me Be Frank With You, December 8, 2014
• Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped, February 9, 2015
• Sheri Fink, Five Days At Memorial, March 2, 2015
• Dennis Lehane, World Gone By: A Novel, March 23, 2015
• Alexandra Fuller, New Memoir, untitled, April 13, 2015

For more information on each of these upcoming Literary Evenings, click here to navigate to the Literary Evenings page of our website.

SUBSCRIBE NOW, OR … Continue reading